Nov 132007
 
Authors: Johnny Hart

It doesn’t cost much to provide an education to hundreds of third-world children, so says one student organization at CSU. Just $1 from every student at CSU would be enough to build a school in Nepal this year.

Hoping to keep the philanthropic spirit of CSU growing, CSU’s chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) — a global outreach program focused on community building — launched a school-building campaign for underprivileged societies called Only 1 this year.

Only 1 volunteers pitch their campaign to student clubs and organizations at CSU, asking for donation to their first project, the school in a small village in Nepal.

They will send the donations to a global organization, led by former Microsoft executive John Wood, called Room to Read. Room to Read has built schools in underserved countries for nearly a decade.

SIFE hopes for grassroots community involvement from students at CSU over the next month.

“Every one of us is constantly pursuing opportunities to raise awareness of our cause,” said Joe Gerdom, a junior Only 1 volunteer.

Gerdom and senior Alina Roberts, along with other volunteers have contacted organizations around campus to spread involvement.

Shubart said her students are zealots of third-world education and has optimism for the success of Only 1.

“As an instructor, I have shared (Only 1) with a number of my classes and they said ‘that is awesome’,” Schubart said. “CSU students really have a heart for helping.”

Many of the volunteers first heard of the Only 1 vision through Schubart’s classes.

“Professor Schubart likes to talk about socially responsible entrepreneurs,” Gerdom said.

Some volunteers place the importance of the program above that of academia — Roberts said she dedicates more time to Only 1 than her classes

CSU was the first university to commit to a Room to Read school fundraiser, Schubart said.

Students can help by attending fundraisers or visiting First National Bank in the Lory Student Center and depositing money into the Only 1 account.

“It’s one dollar. I know I have that in my car in change. It doesn’t take much,” said Roberts.

Joan Schubart, SIFE faculty advisor, said American students don’t realize the educational hardships developing countries face.

“We see education as just like breathing,” Shubart said. “But in Nepal, kids really want to be educated and it’s not available. We are able to reach out to one village and build one school and touch not one child, but an exponential number of children.”

Student volunteers echoed that realization.

“We are so blessed to be able to receive the quality of education that we do in this country while so many others around the world never receive that chance,” said Gerdom. “The fact that something as simple as donating one dollar can give so many children that opportunity is really amazing.”

The name and location of the village will be received in January. Pictures of the construction and completion of the school will be uploaded and viewable on www.roomtoread.org. Also, a Facebook group has been set up so students can join the cause. Groups who want to get involved should contact members of Only 1 or Joan Schubart.

Staff writer Johnny Hart can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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